Line, a free messaging app made by Line Corporation that’s competing with the likes of WhatsApp and Viber, has pushed past 150 million registered users globally, up from 100 million in January. Line launched back in summer 2011 in Asia, and is especially popular in Japan, but has been pushing outside its home region, expanding into the U.S., Europe and Latin America.
It’s worth noting that Line’s user metric is registered users rather than active users — the company does not break out the latter but Line has previously told TechCrunch the proportion of registered to active monthly users can be as high as 80% worldwide.
For some comparative context on Line’s user figure, Viber announced it hit 175 million registered users back in February. While messaging giant WhatsApp doesn’t break out registered users but earlier this month said it now has more than 200 million active monthly users — claiming more monthly users than Twitter.
Line said its global growth has been helped by the more than 10 million registered users it has acquired in Spain since launching Spanish iOS and Android apps late last year. It has also kicked off a TV ad campaign to raise Line’s profile in Spain. Add to that, Line said it’s seeing “steady growth” in the Spanish-speaking South American region, having added French and Brazilian Portuguese versions of its apps in March.
Line offers free messaging and social networking services on its platform, focusing on the youth market with games, stickers and kawaii mascots also part of its platform — the latter now have their own cartoon show (called Line Town) in Japan.
Line said the combined download figure for 16 of the games it offers on its platform was more than 100 million as of March. While its official camera app, Line camera, passed 30 million global downloads this month.